People have been instructing each other since people have existed. Showing an infant how to speak; explaining to an apprentice how an axe head is forged; guiding a daughter’s hands as she attempts to make a clay pot—humans have been teaching each other for a long time.
Instruction can be a casual event. It can be as simple as answering a question such as, “How did you do that?” Instruction can also be carefully planned. It can encompass a course of study that concludes with students receiving a diploma or certificate marking the achievement. It is the history and current state of instruction brought about through careful planning— the discipline of instructional design—that we will examine in this chapter.
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The Discipline of Instructional Design
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What is an instructional designer? How did the discipline of instructional design develop? What is an instructional design/development model? How has general systems theory affected instructional design? How does the historical and philosophical postmodern approach affect instructional design?